North Star (organization)
North Star is an organization for believing LGBT Mormons. Its stated mission is to "provide a place of community for Latter-day Saints who experience homosexual attraction or gender identity incongruence, as well as their family, friends, and ecclesiastical leaders." It supports the teaching of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including the law of chastity, which prohibits sexual relationships outside of a legal marriage between one man and one woman. The organization takes "no official position on the origin or mutability of homosexual attractions or gender identity incongruence", and does not "endorse political causes or join political coalitions, including those officially sanctioned by the [LDS] Church."
North Star holds four yearly evening meetings in Utah at an LDS chapel. The meetings include several speakers and musical numbers with refreshments served afterwards, and are called firesides (separate from, but similar to, LDS firesides). It also sponsors several email discussion groups that focus on several demographics, including youth, young adults, men, married men, couples, married women, survivors of sexual abuse, those with HIV or AIDS, sexual addiction recovery for men, and a group around transgender, intersex, or gender identity issues. In addition to the firesides, North Star sponsors annual conferences, couples retreats, fundraising events, and the Women of Worth conferences for heterosexual women in mixed-orientation marriages. The largest discussion group is the general private Facebook group with hundreds of members.
The organization does not take a position on political issues, but has spoken out against using suicide of gay Mormons to promote personal political agendas. They have also said that heterosexual marriages among some of its members should not be taken as evidence that sexual orientation is chosen or changeable. Evergreen International, a long-standing organization serving Latter-day Saints who experience same-sex attraction, announced that, starting January 1, 2014, it would be absorbed into North Star.
Voices of Hope project
In 2012, North Star sponsored the launch of the Voices of Hope Project to share the stories of active members of the LDS church that experience same-sex attraction or gender identity issues. The site features essays and over 70 video interviews.
- High-ranking LDS leader weighs in on same-sex attraction
- "Mission & Values". North Star International.
- "FAQ". North Star International. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- "Event Calendar". North Star International. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Wen, Eden. "Faithful LDS members attend fireside on same-sex attraction". BYU Universe Newspaper. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- "Email Discussion Groups". North Star International. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Women of Worth
- Samuels, Diana (2010-02-26), "Memorial held for gay Mormon who committed suicide in Los Altos", San Jose Mercury News
- Stack, Peggy Fletcher (January 2, 2014), "Longtime support group for gay Mormons shuts down", The Salt Lake Tribune
- "About Voices of Hope". LDS Voices of Hope. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- "Voices of Hope Videos and Essays". LDS Voices of Hope. Retrieved 25 January 2014.